Sunday, April 18, 2021

Biden Continues to Mishandle His Own Border Crisis - Joseph Klein

 

by Joseph Klein

How to make the illegal immigration surge even worse.

 


The Biden administration is increasingly desperate in the face of the migration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border that Biden’s progressive open-door policies have created. Illegal unaccompanied minors are flooding into this country, overwhelming available government resources to shelter and care for them. The Biden administration is already reportedly spending more than $60 million a week to house these minors now in federally run shelters. Many more are illegally crossing the border every day and are being added to the thousands allowed to remain in the United States.

What “creative” solutions has the Biden administration come up with to deal with this surge, aside from scrambling to increase shelter capacity beyond the hovels the kids are already being crammed into? One idea is to offer extended paid leave to government employees, who are likely to have no relevant training and experience, to step in and take care of some minors. Another idea is to offer cash payments to Central Americans to keep them home rather than emigrate to the United States. Offering what amounts to bribes for Central Americans to stay put instead of attempting to reach the United States is likely to backfire.

The New York Times reported last week that employees in federal government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and NASA had received e-mails asking them whether they would be willing to take four-month paid leaves from their jobs “to help care for migrant children in government-run shelters.” Nearly three thousand federal employees answered the call as of April 9th, leaving behind the duties they were actually hired to perform.

As for the cash transfers to Central Americans to keep them at home, Roberta Jacobson, the outgoing White House southern border coordinator, told Reuters recently that such payments were an option under review by the Biden administration to address “the economic reasons people may be migrating.” It has apparently not occurred to the Biden administration “geniuses” that desperate people will do desperate things. The smugglers will be the winners as many of the cash payment recipients use their windfalls to pay for being smuggled into the United States. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed what many Americans must be thinking when he said, “It’s insulting to the millions of Americans who are out of work or facing despair in our country.”

The cash payments would be on top of the $4 billion in development aid that Biden wants to send to Central American countries over four years. This bounty is intended to help alleviate the so-called “root causes” that lead so many Central Americans to take the dangerous trek north to the United States. Based on their records, it is likely that the corrupt leaders in the Northern Triangle of Central America will line their own pockets with a good chunk of that money.

Vice President Kamala Harris is Biden’s choice to work on stemming the flow of migrants from Central America. Presumably, Harris, who lacks any experience in diplomacy or immigration issues, will oversee handing out American taxpayers’ money like candy in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to deal with the “root causes” of the migrant surge. It has been three weeks since Biden appointed Harris to take on these responsibilities. To date, she has neither visited the U.S.-Mexico border nor gone down to the Central American countries to study for herself the situation on the ground and speak with government, business, and community leaders.

On April 14th, Harris delivered some remarks at what was billed as a Virtual Roundtable of Experts on the Northern Triangle. She pointed out the obvious – that the Central Americans leaving their homes are “fleeing some harm, or to remain home is to remain in a position where there is no opportunity to meet essential needs that include feeding their children, keeping a roof over their head, and engaging in productive work.” 

Then, as an example of how superficial Harris is in dealing with the “root cause” problem she was assigned to help resolve, Harris recommended focusing on “an important four-letter word, which I hope always inspires us to do the work we do, and that word is ‘hope.’ And in this regard, in — in our focus on the Northern Triangle, looking at the fact that we have an opportunity — as the United States of America, with the resources and with the will that we have — to provide the people of the Northern Triangle with some hope that if they stay at home, help is on the way and they can have some hope that the opportunities and the needs that they have will be met in some way.”

Harris spent time during the roundtable discussing the need to deal with the impact of climate change in the Northern Triangle. She briefly acknowledged that there was a corruption problem in the Central American countries. However, Harris offered no suggestions on how this problem should be addressed as a condition for the U.S. spending more money on economic development in those countries.

Harris did suggest internationalizing the effort to encourage economic development. “That includes reaching out to our allies, through the U.N.,” she said. The United Nations is the wrong organization to rely upon, given its own corruption problems and its encouragement of more open borders.

When Harris was asked if she was planning a visit to the southern border, she replied that her job was to “lead the issue of dealing with root causes in the Northern Triangle.” Harris mentioned that a trip to Guatemala was in the works, with a stop in Mexico, without offering any details or timetable.

Harris has spoken by phone with Guatemalan President Alejando Giammattei and with Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “They agreed to continue to work together to address the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – including poverty, violence, and lack of economic opportunity,” the White House said about Harris’s call with Obrador. “They also discussed deepening the U.S.-Mexico relationship to target human smuggling and human trafficking.”

Former President Donald Trump had already contained the human smugglers during his term in office by putting in place an array of disincentives to discourage would-be migrants from making the journey north. The “root cause” of today’s crisis is Harris’s boss, whom Obrador has called the “migrant president.” Biden removed many of the Trump administration’s disincentives and suspended the construction of the border wall.

Harris hails from the sanctuary state of California. She has previously expressed her own opposition to deportations of illegal immigrants. Harris should discuss mass immigration incentives and disincentives with Obrador the next time she speaks with him. To educate herself, Harris may want to ask Obrador to elaborate on the observations he expressed last month: "Expectations were created that with the Government of President Biden there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so."

Meanwhile, New York State has found its own way to subsidize illegal aliens while raising taxes to help pay for it. The far left progressive New York State Legislature has established, with beleaguered Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signoff, a  $2.1 billion “Excluded Workers Fund” under which nearly 300,000 illegal aliens living in New York will be eligible to receive money they are not otherwise entitled to under federal programs.

An illegal alien who qualifies “will be able to receive up to $15,600 (minus $780 for taxes),” according to an article in The City. Even those who cannot fulfill all the criteria could get $3,200 (minus $160 removed for taxes). To put this in some perspective, the amount of money allotted in this year’s New York State budget to the Excluded Workers Fund is double what is included in relief for small businesses that are suffering badly as a result of the coronavirus and Cuomo’s lockdown orders. In short, New York is rewarding those in New York State illegally with windfalls they don’t deserve at legal residents’ expense.

The New York Times described the Excluded Workers Fund as “by far the biggest of its kind in the country and a sign of the state’s shift toward policies championed by progressive Democrats.” It makes even the sanctuary state of California look stingy by comparison with its $500 one-time cash benefit per adult up to a cap of $1,000 per household. New York has also surpassed California as the state imposing the highest overall tax burden in the United States.

Biden has caved to his progressive base in opening the door wide to illegal immigrants and is now trying to clean up his mess with ideas that will only make matters worse. Far left progressives in charge at the federal and state level are encouraging mass migration to this country on the way to achieving their utopian vision of “No borders. No nations.” In the process, they are destroying piece by piece the rule of law that undergirds America’s constitutional republic. 

 

Joseph Klein

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/04/biden-continues-mishandle-his-own-border-crisis-joseph-klein/

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The Apogee of Social Media - Chris Farrell

 

by Chris Farrell

When a business turns on roughly half of its customers, treats them like criminal suspects or seeks to deprive them of their services, can they prosper?

  • Most famously, of course, is the banning of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. But there are many, many others.

  • Journalist friends from center-right outlets saw tens of thousands evaporate. Colleagues were suspended for reposting something they had said on multiple occasions for a year.

  • The social media giants are still flush with cash, convinced they are righteous and enlightened, and, most of all, are exceedingly arrogant. They believe they will continue to define and influence society – and they may – but only half.

  • The nearly consistent claim from established social media companies against their start-up competitors is that they are guilty of some "ism." Take your pick: racial, ethnic, political, religious, sexual, whatever. Some crime, syndrome, or deplorable belief – some "ism" – is usually attached to any platform other than themselves.

  • This is not the stuff of right-wing conspiracy theorists. It touches on press freedoms and landmark legal cases such as New York Times v. Sullivan. In that 1964 case, the Supreme Court established that a plaintiff in a defamation case concerning a public figure must prove "actual malice" in reporting false information. Actual malice is the publication of a false statement with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for the truth.

(Photo of logos by Denis Charlet/AFP via Getty Images)

When a business turns on roughly half of its customers, treats them like criminal suspects or seeks to deprive them of their services, can they prosper? The answer is "No."

Social media is dying, they just don't know it yet. All the so-called "giants" of Silicon Valley: Twitter, Facebook, and their ilk cannot continue successfully "as is." In the lead-up to the 2020 election, and certainly in the aftermath of the January 6th Capitol riot, persons and organizations not subscribing to the new orthodox socialist ideology of the American Left have found themselves "de-platformed," suspended, erased, minimized and banned.

Most famously, of course, is the banning of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. But there are many, many others. A policy analyst colleague with a few hundred Twitter followers watched an unexplained and precipitous 20% reduction overnight. They had not posted anything "controversial," or anything at all in several weeks, but clearly some algorithm had identified the analyst as "one of those people." Journalist friends from center-right outlets saw tens of thousands evaporate. Colleagues were suspended for reposting something they had said on multiple occasions for a year. No explanations, no remedy, no recourse. Another symptom of the cancel culture syndrome.

Social media's death knell is not immediately apparent and there appears to be little or no public awareness of the tolling bell. But, as far back as November 2017 there were indications detailed in a CNN Money article that is loaded with irony, and a striking void of self-awareness that verges on satire. If you do not follow the link to read the entire article, then contemplate the following excerpted blurb:

"It is completely misunderstanding the nature and threat of 'fake news' to suggest that Facebook and the people behind it, past and present, bear any personal responsibility for what happened in last year's election," the former employee said, "and the general state of political discourse in America today."

Social media is a bit like the just-diagnosed patient with a terminal disease. By outward appearances, they may seem fine, but the clock is ticking, and they know it.

The social media giants are still flush with cash, convinced they are righteous and enlightened, and most of all, are exceedingly arrogant. They believe they will continue to define and influence society – and they may – but only half.

Other social media platforms have surfaced to offer alternatives. Former President Trump is purportedly on the verge of launching his own new social media platform. Like most Internet innovation, there is a "Wild West" air and stream-of-consciousness style to how things have been launched, modified and maintained. There was a day back in living memory when the entire Internet was that way. Today, however, the "respectable, establishment" social media platforms do not like any competition. The nearly consistent claim from established social media companies against their start-up competitors is that they are guilty of some "ism." Take your pick: racial, ethnic, political, religious, sexual, whatever. Some crime, syndrome, or deplorable belief – some "ism" – is usually attached to any platform other than themselves. The new companies purportedly trade on either hate or phobia.

The social media giants enjoy official government ideological support. In the aftermath of the January 6th riot at the Capitol, social media provided law enforcement with information to identify persons, locations and activities. The government, in turn, issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin wherein they admit:

"DHS does not have any information to indicate a specific, credible plot; however, violent riots have continued in recent days and we remain concerned that individuals frustrated with the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances and ideological causes fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize a broad range of ideologically-motivated actors to incite or commit violence." [Emphasis added]

This symbiotic relationship between a politicized Biden administration terror bulletin and the silencing and de-platforming by social media giants is what used to be referred to by Pentagon contractors as a "self-licking ice cream cone." There appears to be "no sunlight" visible between the ideologues operating in DC and Silicon Valley. They seem to be working from the same script. These tactics are all reminiscent of the techniques proposed in the pre-election planning of the Transition Integrity Project.

Guess who curates, controls and feeds the news media reporting flow to an ill-defined but enormous percentage of the population? The social media giants. The monopolistic manipulation of news feeds by social media was recently detailed in the legal opinion of Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. "Silicon Valley also has an enormous influence over the distribution of news. And it similarly filters news delivery in ways favorable to the Democratic Party," he wrote.

This is not the stuff of right-wing conspiracy theorists. It touches on press freedoms and landmark legal cases such as New York Times v. Sullivan. In that 1964 case, the Supreme Court established that a plaintiff in a defamation case concerning a public figure must prove "actual malice" in reporting false information. Actual malice is the publication of a false statement with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for the truth.

Social media's news curation and distribution results in half the country being spoon-fed a pablum of politicized lies, and the other half distrusting virtually every news report as nothing but propaganda. The shredding of the fabric of American society is happening before our eyes and in some cases around the kitchen tables of American families.

There will come a point when people might have to choose between their Twitter feed and their family. Between what they know to be true from their conscience, their religion, their first-hand experience, their friends and business contacts – and whatever their phone just "alerted" them [read: psychologically conditioned them] to in a dopamine-laced "ping!"

That tension and division is what spells the end for social media as it currently exists and operates. When your business practices divide rather than unify, cause confusion over clarity, distraction rather than enlightenment, and sows strife rather than edification – those are the practices that cannot be sustained over the long haul. The problem, of course, is that along the way they create enormous damage, some of which may be irreversible. The American public is experiencing all of that damage now.

 

Chris Farrell is a former counterintelligence case officer. For the past 20 years, he has served as the Director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch. The views expressed are the author's alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17288/social-media-apogee

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Western Fashion Brands Sued for Using Forced Labor in China - Soeren Kern

 

by Soeren Kern

Four major European and American apparel and footwear manufacturers have been sued in a French court for allegedly using forced labor in Xinjiang, a mostly Muslim region in northwestern China.

  • The suit accuses Spain-based Inditex (whose brands include Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull and Bear and Stradivarius), France-based SMCP (comprised of Parisian brands, Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and De Fursac), U.S.-based footwear company Skechers, and the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo, of being "accomplices in serious crimes," including "concealment of the crime of forced labor, the crime of organized human trafficking, the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity."

  • The plaintiffs are asking the French judiciary to rule on the "possible criminal liability" of the companies. The stated aim is to "end impunity" for the brands, which are accused of "offloading on their subcontractors their responsibility for human rights."

  • "In fact, many companies in the sector are likely, at one stage or another of their production, to profit, consciously or not, from the coercive policy pursued by Beijing towards the Turkic peoples, whether in Xinjiang or in factories in other regions of China where Uyghur workers are sent." — French newspaper Liberation.

  • "China's systematic campaign against the Uyghur population is characterized by mass detention, forced labor, and discriminatory laws, and supported through high-tech manners of surveillance. There are reasonable grounds to believe that China is responsible for crimes against humanity. It is important to recall that crimes against humanity were born out of the experience of the Holocaust and first were prosecuted at Nuremberg. Every government has committed to protect their populations from crimes against humanity." — Naomi Kikoler, Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Human rights experts accuse the Chinese government of detaining at least one million Muslims in Xinjiang in up to 380 internment camps, where they are subject to torture, mass rapes, forced labor and sterilizations. Pictured: The outer wall of an internment camp on the outskirts of Hotan, in China's Xinjiang region. (Photo by Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

Four major European and American apparel and footwear manufacturers have been sued in a French court for allegedly using forced labor in Xinjiang, a mostly Muslim region in northwestern China.

Human rights groups, academic researchers and journalists have increasingly been sounding the alarm that the Chinese government is forcing more than 500,000 Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic and religious minorities to pick cotton in Xinjiang, one of the largest cotton-producing regions in the world.

On April 9, the European Uyghur Institute, in collaboration with a French human rights NGO called Sherpa, the Ethics on Labels Collective (Collectif Ethique sur l'étiquette), and a Uyghur detention camp survivor, all represented by Bourdon & Associés, a prestigious Paris-based law firm, filed the lawsuit at the Judicial Court of Paris (Tribunal judiciaire de Paris).

The suit accuses Spain-based Inditex (whose brands include Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull and Bear and Stradivarius), France-based SMCP (comprised of Parisian brands, Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and De Fursac), U.S.-based footwear company Skechers, and the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo, of being "accomplices in serious crimes," including "concealment of the crime of forced labor, the crime of organized human trafficking, the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity."

The plaintiffs accuse:

  • Inditex of maintaining supply links with major producers of yarns and fabrics based in Xinjiang.
  • SMCP, whose majority shareholder is Luxembourg-based European TopSoho, an investment holding company owned by the Chinese Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Company Limited, based in Shandong, China, of operating factories in Xinjiang since 2010.
  • Skechers of producing shoes at a factory in Guangdong province, where Uyghurs are allegedly forcibly transferred to work under conditions of forced labor.
  • Uniqlo, which has officially taken a stand against forced labor, of sourcing textiles from Xinjiang, as well as from Anhui province, where thousands of Uyghur workers have allegedly been forcibly transferred to work under conditions of force labor.

The plaintiffs are asking the French judiciary to rule on the "possible criminal liability" of the companies. The stated aim is to "end impunity" for the brands, which are accused of "offloading onto their subcontractors their responsibility for human rights."

The lawsuit is based on a growing body of evidence-based research (see Appendixes below) which suggests that the Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity in an effort to crush political and religious dissent among Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Some scholars accuse the Chinese Communist Party of "ethnic cleansing" in Xinjiang with the ultimate aim of unifying the entire country around one homogeneous racial group, that of the Han Chinese.

Human rights experts accuse the Chinese government of detaining at least one million Muslims in Xinjiang in up to 380 internment camps, where they are subject to torture, mass rapes, forced labor and sterilizations.

Xinjiang produces 85% of China's and one-fifth of the world's cotton supply. Roughly 70% of the region's cotton fields are picked by hand. Research indicates that up to 560,000 Uyghurs are being forced to pick cotton in Xinjiang. The allegations of forced labor affect all Western supply chains that involve Xinjiang cotton as a raw material. Both the European Union and the United States import more than 30% of their total apparel and textile supplies from China.

In October 2019, the United States began imposing sanctions (Appendix 1 below) on Chinese individuals and entities accused of responsibility for abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

In October 2020, the Geneva-based Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an influential non-profit group that promotes sustainable cotton production, suspended licensing of Xinjiang cotton, citing allegations and "increasing risks" of forced labor. The statement has since been scrubbed from the BCI website, and, disturbingly, also is not accessible on the Internet Archive. A screen shot of the statement can be viewed here.

After the BCI, which has more than 1,800 members, spanning the entire global cotton supply chain, stopped licensing Xinjiang cotton production, its members — including Germany-based Adidas, U.K.-based Burberry, Swedish retailers H&M and IKEA, and U.S.-based Nike — all issued statements that they would stop using cotton from Xinjiang, in accordance with the group's guidelines.

In March 2021, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada, following the American lead, announced (here, here and here) that they too had imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials accused of Uyghur-related human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

The Chinese government retaliated by issuing its own sanctions against European, British, Canadian and American individuals and entities. China also launched a boycott of Western clothing retailers for expressing concerns about forced labor in Xinjiang. The companies have been pressured to scrub from their websites language about corporate policies on human rights, reverse decisions to stop buying cotton produced in Xinjiang, and remove maps that depict Taiwan as an independent country.

On or around March 25, presumably under pressure from China, Zara's parent company, Inditex, removed from its website a statement on the company's zero-tolerance policy for forced labor. The statement, which can be found on the Internet Archive, said:

"We take reports of improper social and labor practices in any part of the garment and textile supply chain extremely seriously. We are aware of a number of such reports alleging social and labor malpractice in various supply chains among Uyghurs in Xinjiang (China) as well as in other regions, which are highly concerning. Following an internal investigation, we can confirm that Inditex does not have commercial relations with any factory in Xinjiang."

The French newspaper Liberation reported:

"In fact, many companies in the sector are likely, at one stage or another of their production, to profit, consciously or not, from the coercive policy pursued by Beijing towards the Turkic peoples, whether in Xinjiang or in factories in other regions of China where Uyghur workers are sent. The Spanish Inditex, accused, like the Japanese Uniqlo, of supplying itself with yarn and fabric in Xinjiang, assured Liberation in December 'not to have links with Chinese companies identified as being able to use forced labor' and stressed that the 'group does not condone any form of forced labor.'"

Similar lawsuits are expected to be filed in other European countries. In a press release, the Ethics on Labels Collective said that the French lawsuit should serve as a warning to all Western companies that source production from Xinjiang:

"This lawsuit more broadly targets a large number of brands and distributors in the sector and denounces the impunity of these actors in the face of violations committed in the context of economic globalization.

"This lawsuit is the first in a series that will be filed in the coming months in other European countries and is supported by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the World Uyghur Congress.

"It is part of the long-standing advocacy of our organizations to fight against the impunity of transnational corporations and for the access of victims to justice and reparation."

Separately, on February 24, the Association of Uyghurs in France (Association des Ouïgours de France) filed a lawsuit against U.S.-based Nike for "deceptive business practices and complicity in the concealment of forced labor" in Xinjiang. The brand is said to continue to work with supplier Qingdao Taekwang Shoes Co. Ltd, which produces at least seven million pairs of shoes a year for Nike and allegedly uses at least 600 mostly female Uyghur workers.

"In doing so, Nike abuses its customers," said Parisian lawyer Mourad Battikh. "The brand is far from the ethical commitments it proclaims in the charter published on its official website." Nike denies the allegations.

The lawsuit was filed on the same day that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced China's treatment of the Uyghurs:

"From the Xinjiang region of China, we are receiving testimonies and corroborating documents that point to unjustifiable practices against Uyghurs and of an institutionalized system of large-scale surveillance and repression."

Appendix 1. Western Actions Against China for Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang

In late 2016, the Chinese government initiated a sweeping crackdown in Xinjiang aimed at forcibly assimilating the Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic group. Since then, China has sharply expanded a network of "political re-education" camps aimed at suppressing dissent. It has also cracked down on Uyghurs living abroad to determine if they are involved in anti-government activities.

The Uyghur population in Xinjiang is subject to extreme surveillance and restriction of movement. Although the situation there is opaque, satellite imagery shows that the number and size of detention facilities and textile factories are rapidly expanding. Satellite pictures also indicate that detainees are systematically being transported from detention centers to textile factories. Uyghurs are being paid below the minimum wage, and often not at all, according to local sources.

In recent years, a growing number of Western governments, think tanks and human rights groups have drawn attention to human rights violations in Xinjiang.

The Trump Administration, beginning in 2018, led the charge by sanctioning Chinese officials and entities believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, human rights abuses in Xinjiang. More recently, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada also announced coordinated sanctions, although not nearly to the extent of those imposed by the United States.

Australia and New Zealand have backed the sanctions, but have not announced any such measures of their own, apparently because they lack a legislative framework such as the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which allows for targeted sanctions against human rights abusers.

Following are, in reverse order, Western government-level sanctions, statements and measures aimed at drawing attention to the human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang:

  • March 22, 2021. The European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada announced (here, here and here) that they had imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials accused of responsibility for abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
  • February 25, 2021. The Dutch parliament passed a non-binding motion saying that the treatment of Uyghurs in China amounts to genocide. It was the first such move by a European country.
  • February 22, 2021. The Canadian parliament voted 266 to 0 to declare China's treatment of its Uyghur population a genocide.
  • January 19, 2021. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined that China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.
  • January 13, 2021. The Trump Administration announced a ban on imports of cotton and other products from Xinjiang. It cited human rights violations and the widespread use of forced labor in the region. "The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will not tolerate the Chinese government's exploitation of modern slavery to import goods into the United States below fair market value," said CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan. "Imports made on the cheap by using forced labor hurt American businesses that respect human rights and also expose unsuspecting consumers to unethical purchases."
  • December 21, 2020. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced additional restrictions on the issuance of visas for People's Republic of China officials engaged in human rights abuses.
  • July 20, 2020. The U.S. Department of Commerce added 11 Chinese companies to the U.S. Entity List, all of which were "implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted at Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
  • July 9, 2020. The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned one Chinese government entity and four current or former government officials in connection with human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
  • July 1, 2020. The U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a risk advisory for businesses with potential supply chain exposure to Xinjiang to consider the reputational, economic and legal risks of involvement with entities that engage in human rights abuses, such as forced labor, in Xinjiang.
  • June 5, 2020. The U.S Commerce Department sanctioned 33 Chinese firms and institutions accused of helping China spy on its minority Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjiang or because of alleged ties to weapons of mass destruction and China's military.
  • May 22, 2020. The U.S. Department of Commerce sanctioned 33 Chinese companies and institutions to the Entity List. Of the 33, 24 are governmental and commercial organizations targeted for "supporting procurement of items for military end-use in China." The remaining nine entities consist of eight commercial entities and the China's Ministry of Public Security's Institute of Foreign Science for being "complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR)."
  • October 8, 2019. The U.S. Department of State announced a visa restriction policy for PRC and Chinese Communist Party officials responsible for, or complicit in, human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
  • October 7, 2019. The U.S. Department of Commerce sanctioned 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies due to their alleged roles in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
  • November 6, 2018. Western countries including France, Germany and the United States called on China to close down detention camps that activists say hold one million Uyghurs and other Muslims.
  • August 30, 2018. The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said that up to one million Uyghurs were being held involuntarily in extra-legal detention in Xinjiang. It called for the immediate release of those detained on the "pretext of countering terrorism."
  • May 14, 2018. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) denounced the Chinese government's increasing crackdown on Uyghur Muslims.

Appendix 2. Documenting Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang – Think Tanks

In recent years, human rights activists, think tanks and scholars have amassed and compiled overwhelming evidence of human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

March 2021. The Washington, D.C.-based Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, in cooperation with the Montreal-based Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, published a report, "The Uyghur Genocide: An Examination of China's Breaches of the 1948 Genocide Convention." It concluded: "China bears State responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs, in breach of the Genocide Convention."

March 2021. The Washington, D.C.-based Jamestown Foundation, using evidence from Chinese sources, published an extensive report on forced labor in Xinjiang. It determined that there are "credible grounds for concluding" that labor practices in Xinjiang meet the criteria for Crimes Against Humanity as defined under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

December 2020. The Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy published a report, "Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton." The report, which provided new evidence for coercion specifically related to cotton picking, concluded:

"It is very likely that a major share of cotton production in Xinjiang is tainted with forced labor. In the absence of the ability to conduct meaningful and independent audits of actual working conditions, it must be assumed that any cotton from Xinjiang may involve coercive labor, with the likelihood of coercion being very high.

"This has drastic implications for supply chains not only within China, but also for countries such as India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, or Pakistan, to which Chinese cotton yarn and fabric is exported and made into clothing. These implications reach beyond Asia and into global supply chains and related government policies."

September 2020. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, in a report, "Documenting Xinjiang's Detention System," identified and mapped more than 380 suspected detention facilities in Xinjiang. This is the largest database of Xinjiang's detention facilities in existence.

September 2020. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, in a report, "Cultural Erasure," revealed that the Chinese government had destroyed or damaged at least 16,000 mosques in Xinjiang (65% of the total) in an effort to systematically rewrite the cultural heritage of the Xinjiang region.

July 2020. The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies published a report, "Addressing Forced Labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Toward a Shared Agenda." The document stressed the need for coordinated action between companies, investors and governments to ensure that goods entering the United States, Europe, and other democracies are not the product of forced labor, "which often occurs several steps away from global brands in supply chains."

June 2020. The Jamestown Foundation, in a report, "Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP's Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang," documented measures to forcibly suppress birthrates among ethnic Uyghur communities.

March 2020. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute in a report, "Uyghurs for Sale: 'Re-education,' Forced Labor and Surveillance Beyond Xinjiang," concluded:

"The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labor, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 82 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen."

March 2020. The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, in a report, "Global Supply Chains, Forced Labor, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region," stated:

"As many as 1.8 million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities are, or have been, arbitrarily detained in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The severe human rights abuses, torture, political indoctrination, forced renunciations of faith, and widespread and systematic forced labor occurring in mass internment camps may constitute crimes against humanity under international law.

"Global supply chains are increasingly at risk of being tainted with goods and products made with forced labor from the XUAR. Intrusive surveillance, restrictions on movement, and the inability to obtain reliable information from workers at risk of detention and other reprisals also makes it increasingly impossible to conduct due diligence. The risk for complicity in forced labor is high for any company importing goods directly from the XUAR or those partnering with a Chinese company operating in the region....

"U.S. businesses and consumers should not be complicit in forced labor and Chinese businesses should not profit from the forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities."

December 2019. The Journal of Political Risk published a report, "Beyond the Camps: Beijing's Long-Term Scheme of Coercive Labor, Poverty Alleviation and Social Control in Xinjiang." It concluded:

"Before long, it will be up to Chinese companies, and to China as a whole nation, to prove to other countries that their exported products do not involve any form of coerced ethnic minority labor. Until Xinjiang's extrajudicial internment camp network and related factories are fully shut down, and all forms of skills training and related employment in the region are made completely voluntary, this will be difficult or impossible to prove. Meanwhile, western and other foreign companies must fully divest their supply chains not only from Xinjiang, but also from Chinese companies with significant operations in that region."

November 2019. In an analysis for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, China expert Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian exposed China's operating manuals for mass internment and arrest by algorithm.

October 2019. The Center for Strategic and International Studies published a report, "Connecting the Dots in Xinjiang: Forced Labor, Forced Assimilation, and Western Supply Chains." It concluded:

"Evidence suggests that large numbers of minorities in Xinjiang are being subjected to forced labor. This occurs in three ways. First, increasing numbers of minorities are being placed in the prison system, where forced labor is a long-standing practice. Second, current and ex-detainees are also forced to work in factories that are heavily subsidized to incorporate ex-detainees in their operations. Last, there is growing evidence that rural minorities are being coerced to work as part of the government's 'poverty alleviation' program. Forced labor occurs as part of the government's systematic and widespread attack on minorities in Xinjiang, and the entities employing forced labor may be complicit in crimes against humanity."

September 2019. In an analysis, "How Companies Profit from Forced Labor in Xinjiang," China expert Darren Byler documented how detainees in Xinjiang are being paid a fraction of minimum wage, and how both Chinese and foreign companies are taking advantage.

July 2019. More than 20 Western countries, in a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council, called out human rights abuses by the Chinese government in Xinjiang. They called for China to allow meaningful access to Xinjiang for independent international observers, including for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

March 2019. China Leadership Monitor, "Under Xi Jinping, Xinjiang has emerged as the party's incubator for a more assertive and coercive form of nation-building and cultural re-engineering. The result is a surface level calm that hides deep social and psychological anxieties while at the same undermining cultural diversity and social trust."

November 2018. An investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, using satellite imagery, identified and documented the expansion of 28 detention camps in Xinjiang.

September 2018. Human Rights Watch, in a 117-page report, "Eradicating Ideological Viruses: China's Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang's Muslims," presented evidence of the Chinese government's mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment, and the increasingly pervasive controls on daily life.

May 2018. The Jamestown Foundation, in a report, "New Evidence for China's Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang," charted the history and present context of political re-education. It also examined the recent evolution of re-education in Xinjiang in the context of 'de-extremification' work.

March 2016. The Asia Research Institute, University of Nottingham, in an article, "Spatial Results of the 2010 Census in Xinjiang," wrote: "The 2010 census shows Xinjiang as having 21.82 million people; the 2000 census registered 18.46 million.... The demographic trends also show a population that is becoming less ethnically diverse with more Han migrants. That is the future of Xinjiang's demography."

Appendix 3. Documenting Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang – Media

Appendix 4. NGOs Fighting Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang

Anti-Slavery International. In a statement, the group said:

"Now is the time for real action from brands, governments and international bodies – not empty declarations. To end the slavery and horrific abuses of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic Muslim peoples by the Chinese government, brands must ensure their supply chains are not linked to the atrocities against these people. The only way brands can ensure they are not profiting from the exploitation is by exiting the region and ending relationships with suppliers propping up this Chinese government system."

Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region. The group, consisting of more than 300 civil society groups, in October 2020 called on Western apparel and textile brands to urgently exit the Uyghur region at every level of their supply chains to prevent the use of forced labor.

Global Labor Justice. Executive Director Jennifer Rosenbaum said:

"If responsible business conduct has any meaning, it requires fashion brands to act when independent journalists, United Nations human rights experts, and human rights NGOs expose grave human rights abuses. Business and human rights principles require fashion brands to stop using cotton and labor from the Uyghur Region in their global supply chains."

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Senior Program Director of Human Rights, David Schilling, said:

"Given the lack of leverage and the inability to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts, apparel brands and retailers must take the necessary steps to end business relationships connected to the Uyghur Region in order to fulfil their responsibility to respect human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights."

Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders. This coalition of Chinese and international human rights non-governmental organizations estimated that between two and three million people have been detained in so-called re-education camps, or forced to attend "education sessions" for indoctrination purposes in Xinjiang.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Naomi Kikoler, Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, said:

"China's systematic campaign against the Uyghur population is characterized by mass detention, forced labor, and discriminatory laws, and supported through high-tech manners of surveillance. There are reasonable grounds to believe that China is responsible for crimes against humanity. It is important to recall that crimes against humanity were born out of the experience of the Holocaust and first were prosecuted at Nuremberg. Every government has committed to protect their populations from crimes against humanity.

"In this case, there is a reasonable basis to believe that the Chinese government is failing in this regard, and they are committing the crimes against humanity of persecution and imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty."

Uyghur Human Rights Project. Executive Director Omer Kanat said:

"Global brands need to ask themselves how comfortable they are contributing to a genocidal policy against the Uyghur people. These companies have somehow managed to avoid scrutiny for complicity in that very policy — this stops today."

Worker Rights Consortium. Executive Director Scott Nova said:

"Forced laborers in the Uyghur Region face vicious retaliation if they tell the truth about their circumstances. This makes due diligence through labor inspections impossible and virtually guarantees that any brand sourcing from the Uyghur Region is using forced labor."

 

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17287/fashion-brands-forced-labor-china

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When it comes to woke tyranny, are the worms beginning to turn? - Andrea Widburg

 

by Andrea Widburg

A teacher and a parent each wrote an eye-opening letter about the madness at their respective elite, private New York schools.

For three days, I've had sitting on my virtual spindle a post that Bari Weiss, formerly of the New York Times, posted on her Substack page.  It's entitled "I Refuse to Stand by while My Students Are Indoctrinated."  The author isn't Weiss but is, instead, Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan (annual tuition: $57,330).  On Friday, Weiss added another open letter, this from Andrew Gutmann, a parent who had just pulled his daughter out of Brearley, another expensive private school (annual tuition: $54,000).  Both are horrifying exposés of and attacks against the woke culture saturating these institutions.

Both letters are long and don't yield easily to a brief summary.  I'll quote a few select paragraphs from each, but you must read them to get the full flavor of the Maoist madness at these institutions.

Paul Rossi, the teacher, writes that Grace Church is focused on "'antiracism' training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to [my students] and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy and understanding."

Rossi perfectly describes the self-hatred, mental repression, cognitive dissonance, and pure racism this training inculcates into young minds:

My school, like so many others, induces students via shame and sophistry to identify primarily with their race before their individual identities are fully formed. Students are pressured to conform their opinions to those broadly associated with their race and gender and to minimize or dismiss individual experiences that don't match those assumptions. The morally compromised status of "oppressor" is assigned to one group of students based on their immutable characteristics. In the meantime, dependency, resentment and moral superiority are cultivated in students considered "oppressed."

Rossi describes how, during a segregated "whites only" student and faculty Zoom meeting, he spoke out, inspiring the students to speak out, too.  This was a bad thing.

I was informed by the head of the high school that my philosophical challenges had caused "harm" to students, given that these topics were "life and death matters, about people's flesh and blood and bone." I was reprimanded for "acting like an independent agent of a set of principles or ideas or beliefs." And I was told that by doing so, I failed to serve the "greater good and the higher truth." 

He further informed me that I had created "dissonance for vulnerable and unformed thinkers" and "neurological disturbance in students' beings and systems." The school's director of studies added that my remarks could even constitute harassment.

Rossi was then denounced over the school announcement system.  There's more.  Read it all, because it's important.

The letter that Andrew Gutmann sent to fellow parents after he pulled his daughter out of Brearley is, if anything, even more horrifying:

It cannot be stated strongly enough that Brearley's obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way. The administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob.

To give context to his scathing attack on the school, Gutmann describes actual systemic racism as things such as the real Jim Crow, Jewish genocide, and the Democrats' decision in 1942 to lock up all their Japanese-American citizens.  And then he's off:

I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where Blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression.

[snip]

I object to the idea that Blacks are unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites.

[snip]

I object to mandatory anti-racism training for parents, especially when presented by the rent-seeking charlatans of Pollyanna.

[snip]

I object to Brearley's vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as "equity," "diversity" and "inclusiveness."

[snip]

l object to Brearley's advocacy for groups and movements such as Black Lives Matter, a Marxist, anti family, heterophobic, anti-Asian and anti-Semitic organization that neither speaks for the majority of the Black community in this country, nor in any way, shape or form, represents their best interests. 

As with Rossi's letter, there's more, much more, including all the material I snipped out.  And as with Rossi's letter, you must read the whole thing.

A couple of years ago, ensconced in a Senate chamber in which almost half of the senators and all the national media agreed with him, and lying about violating Senate rules, Sen. Cory Booker made the ridiculous claim that he was having his "I am Spartacus moment."

In fact, what we're seeing from Rossi and Gutmann, in the belly of the beast that is true-blue New York, should be the start of a true Spartacus moment.  We must join together to defeat the racist Critical Race Theory and other maddened toxins oozing from leftists.

   

Image: Classroom by Sam Balye on Unsplash.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.

 

Andrea Widburg

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/04/when_it_comes_to_woke_tyranny_are_the_worms_beginning_to_turn.html

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